2016 California Proposition 66

Proposition 66
Death Penalty Procedure Time Limits
Votes %
Yes 6,626,159 51.13%
No 6,333,731 48.87%
Valid votes 12,959,890 88.70%
Invalid or blank votes 1,650,619 11.30%
Total votes 14,610,509 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 19,411,771 75.27%
Results by county
  Yes     No
Source: California Secretary of State[1]

Proposition 66 was a California ballot proposition on the November 8, 2016, ballot to change procedures governing California state court challenges to capital punishment in California, designate superior court for initial petitions, limit successive petitions, require appointed attorneys who take noncapital appeals to accept death penalty appeals, and exempt prison officials from existing regulation process for developing execution methods.[2]

The intention of Proposition 66 was to speed up the process of capital trials and executions.[3] Proposition 66 was approved by voters in the November general election, with 51.1% voting to speed up executions.[4] Proposition 62, which would have abolished the death penalty in California, was rejected by voters in the same election, with 53.1% voting against it.[4] If voters had passed both Proposition 62 and Proposition 66, then the measure with the most "Yes" votes would have taken effect.[5]

The measure was opposed by the editorial boards of the Los Angeles Times,[6] the San Francisco Chronicle,[7] and The Sacramento Bee.[8]

State supreme court ruling[edit]

After Prop 66 passed, former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, along with Ron Briggs (whose father John Briggs was the sponsor of Prop 7 in 1978, which expanded capital punishment in California), challenged the measure in court. On December 20, 2016, the California Supreme Court stopped Prop 66 from going into effect pending resolution of the legal challenge.[9]

The measure constitutionality was upheld 5-2 on August 24, 2017, though the state supreme court held that one provision requiring it to decide direct appeals of capital cases within five years was directive rather than mandatory. The court ordered that Prop 66 take effect after this decision becomes final.[10]


  1. ^ "Statement of Vote - November 8, 2016, General Election". December 16, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "Proposition 66. California General Election November 8, 2016. Official Voter Information Guide". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  3. ^ The Times Editorial Board (3 September 2016). "Props 62 and 66: California voters should end the death penalty, not speed it up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Jim (9 November 2016). "California votes to keep death penalty". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  5. ^ Shafer, Scott. "Election 2016: Proposition 62". KQED News. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  6. ^ The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times (3 September 2016). "Props 62 and 66: California voters should end the death penalty, not speed it up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  7. ^ The Editorial Board of the San Francisco Chronicle (25 August 2016). "Fight crime, not futility: Abolish death penalty". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  8. ^ The Editorial Board of the Sacramento Bee (7 October 2016). "End the illusion: Abolish the death penalty". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  9. ^ California Supreme Court halts voter-approved death penalty measure, Associated Press (December 20, 2016).
  10. ^ "Supreme Court Case: S238309". appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov. Retrieved August 24, 2017.

External links[edit]